At some point the warm clouds of infant bliss will part. The reality of your financial responsibility to your new nugget will be suddenly revealed, like a rocky promontory. You might be wrestling with hard truth of how much it’ll cost to get your kid to 17. You may have balked at the hospital delivery bills trickling in. But the trick is not to panic. It’s time to strap on your crampons — because you’re about to get a cost of living raise.
Strike While The Iron Is Profitable
The question: When do you ask for a raise? The answer: As soon as you don’t feel you’re earning enough money. There are a couple caveats, of course. For instance, if any of your colleagues have been called down to HR to talk with an efficiency consultant recently, maybe it’s not such a good time.
Try to time your raise request during an up time in the company — particularly if you’ve had anything to do with the up time. You never want to start a raise conversation with, “Look, I know things have been tight, but let me tell you how amazing I am … ”
Know Your Worth
As soon as you know you’re going to seek a raise, start doing as much research as you can. Make sure you know what people in your position with the same level of responsibility are earning out in the world. Also take into consideration years of experience and your level of education. You can get the missing information through trade organizations, recruiters, or even Glassdoor. Just make sure you’re not doing all this in your cubicle during work hours. You don’t want whatshisface one cube over hear you say, “They make how much? Huh. Maybe I should work there.”
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Know Your Contribution
What’s better than knowing how much your experience is worth? Knowing how much you’ve earned for the company. One of your biggest tools for success in your raise endeavor will be the ability to tell your supervisor exactly how much your work has contributed to the bottom line. Hard numbers are best here. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull it off if you say stuff like “buttloads of money.”
You’ll be treating your raise request the same way you would treat any meeting with your supervisor. As long as that doesn’t mean thinking about lunch while you silently count their gray hairs and listen them blah, blah, blah. Here are a few tips for the conversation:
- Don’t Get Personal: In other words, don’t break down in tears and plead that you need the extra money because you have a new baby at home. They had nothing to do with it. Unless they did, in which case, where the hell do you work?
- Start Slow: A good tactic is to arrive at your question by asking your manager how they think you’re doing. Once you hear them out, broach the subject with “I’m happy to hear you’re pleased with what I’ve been doing … “ Unless that’s not true. At which point change the subject to the Cubbies. Everybody loves those Cubbies.
- Keep Calm: Don’t go straight to table flipping if your request is refused. Ask questions about why they’re not down right now. This is good insight. Make sure your questions give detailed answers that illuminate a path towards a wage increase. Not, like, “What’s your deal, brah?”
They key is: don’t be afraid to risk the climb. Be afraid of your kid asking for a Playstation 9 for their 15th birthday and then get the job done.